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genetic inheritance systemgenetisches Vererbungssystem (ger.)

  • Transmission of material units (genes) from one generation to the next that determine traits through their specific structure (e.g. the base sequence of the DNA). (HWB 2011)

    In some way, genetically inherited features of the organism affect either the ease or reinforcement with which cultural traits are handed down through time. Here it is important to note thatthe determinants of cultural fitness are exogenous to the cultural system itself. In this case, cultural transmission may be said to be controlled or regulated by the genetic inheritance system

    Durham, W.H. (1982). Interactions of genetic and cultural evolution: models and examples. Human Ecology 10, 289-323: 303.


    Feedback is not to the genetic inheritance system but to the cultural one (at least at stages after the fixation of the genetic capacity for culture).

    Rindos, D. (1985). Darwinian selection, symbolic variation, and the evolution of culture. Current Anthropol. 26, 65-88: 73.


    A more reliable criterion for distinguishing between the genetic and epigenetic inheritance systems is the greater predictability and specifiticy of epigenetic changes.

    Jablonka, E. & Lamb, M.J. (1995). Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution: 105.